Here is our list of the best virtual Amazing Race ideas.
Virtual Amazing races are competitions where teams rival to complete puzzles, games, and challenges ahead of opposing teams. These exercises aim to bring groups together and build critical problem-solving and thinking skills. Examples of virtual Amazing Race ideas include scavenger hunts, timed jigsaw puzzles, and photo proof challenges.
These exercises are examples of online team building games and remote team engagement ideas and are in-person versions of Amazing Race ideas.
This list includes:
- online Amazing Race games
- virtual Amazing Race challenges
- remote Amazing Race activities
- online Amazing Race ideas
Here we go!
How do you run an Amazing Race remotely?
Organization is key to a successful race. Before you decide on games, challenges, or activities, we recommend that you give your race a theme. Then, you can base challenges and puzzles on that theme. For example, if you choose an art theme, then you can issue a challenge where racers find a piece of art, an activity where they put an art puzzle together, and a challenge where they have to draw with their feet.
The best way to set up an Amazing Race is with Google Drive docs and Google My Maps. Some steps you can take to set up an Amazing Race:
- Create a Google Drive document and title it with the name of your race. For example, “A Race Around the World.”
- Outline all the rules for the race at the top of the document.
- Formulate fifteen to twenty clues. For example, “Find a girl wearing famous earrings in this city.”
- Link each clue to an activity, challenge, or game. For example, “Find a girl wearing famous earrings in this city.”
- Divide teams into Zoom or Microsoft Teams groups. For instance, racers A and B are on the same Microsoft Teams call.
- Send out the race document via group email two minutes before the race starts. Include instructions that one participant from each team downloads the Google Drive document and be the team reporter. This step will prevent different teams from working on the same Google Drive document.
- Racers document each clue with a screen shoot or text into the Google Drive document.
- Racers have a certain amount of time to complete their entire checklist and email it back to you. The first person who emails it back is the winner.
Pro-Tip: Create a key at the top of the list to explain terms. For example, “collect” means “screenshot and pasting items,” and “race” means moving from one clue or challenge to another.
List of virtual Amazing Race ideas
While completing digital races, your team can work together on different brain-teasing challenges, games, and activities. From hosting a Great Food Challenge to a Crypto Go-Go activity, here is a list of online Amazing Race ideas.
1. Jigsaw Puzzle-Off
One of the most fun remote Amazing Race activities is a Jigsaw Puzzle-Off, where players race to finish a jigsaw puzzle or a series of jigsaw puzzles. To set up this race, create a jigsaw using an online application like iamapuzzle.com. Or, you can use a website that offers pre-made puzzles like jigsawexplorer.com. Next, create a document with links to all the puzzles. Then, send the page to players one minute before the activity start time. Finally, instruct all Amazing racers to screenshot completed puzzles and return them to you via email. The first racer to get their document back wins.
2. World Pub Crawl Race
Racers virtually travel the world and collect screenshots of obscure pub items in this virtual race. The first racer to collect all the items wins the race!
To plan your race, create a document containing clues on where to find each Pub Crawl item.
Some World Pub Crawl item ideas:
- Challenge #1: collect a floor pillow from a bar overlooking zoo monkeys. Answer: Monkey Bar in Berlin, Germany.
- Challenge #2: collect a vertebra at this bar. Answer: Giger Bar in Gruyères, Switzerland.
- Challenge #3: collect a mermaid swimming at this bar. Answer: Dive Bar in Sacramento, CA.
Next, send the document via group email one minute before the race starts, including instructions to download the doc. Finally, the racer who sends back the completed document with correct answers wins!
3. Online Photo Challenge
One of the fun virtual Amazing Race challenges is an Online Photo Challenge. Virtual racers collect photos from the Internet and copy and paste them into a document in this challenge. You can either create a photo theme or an assortment of random items.
A few online photo challenge ideas:
- ten photos of celebrities eating
- ten photos of extreme animals chasing their prey
- fifteen photos of real haunted houses
Pro Tip: Be sure to set time limits on this challenge. For example, give racers one hour to find all the photos and return the document.
For more fun with photos, check out this list of picture scavenger hunt ideas.
4. Code-breaking Game
Race-goers can practice their safe-cracking skills with a code-breaking game. Teams compete to solve as many codes as possible within a specific timeframe in this activity.
To play the race, split racers up into two Zoom or Microsoft Team groups. Next, designate one participant in each group as the lead code breaker. The lead code breaker’s role is to pull up the puzzle on their computer, share their screen, and type in code numbers and letters as team members instruct. Finally, start the clock! The team that cracks the most code within the specified time wins!
Pro Tip: you can make the codes as easy or as hard as you want with computer applications like Braingle’s code breaker.
5. The Great Food Challenge
The Great Food Challenge is a virtual take on cooking shows where contestants whip up food creations within a set timeframe. Each team uses online cooking games to make a dish or dessert under certain restrictions and criteria in this challenge. For example, players have to assemble twenty hamburgers in ten minutes or make a cake with frosting, sprinkles, and three decorations in five minutes. The race’s administrator gives each team player points based on appearance, creativity, and criteria. The team with the most points wins!
A few online food games:
Pro Tip: you can reward winners with different food or coffee gift card prizes!
6. Are You Smarter Than a Spy Kid Game
The CIA has children’s interactive games that are far more challenging than expected! You can challenge your racegoers with an Are You Smarter Than a Spy Kid Game, where players have one hour to solve a Break The Code, Secret Puzzle, Aerial Analysis, Photo Analysis, and Memory challenge.
To play the game, create a document with the CIA’s website link and each challenge you want racers to complete. Next, split racers into two Zoom or Microsoft Team groups. Then, choose one racegoer as the Targeting Officer. The Targeting Officer’s job is to share the games on the screen, type in the needed information, and screenshot and paste each completed challenge into the document. Finally, the team that completes the challenges successfully in the shortest amount of time wins.
7. Spot The Difference Game
A fun but challenging game for racegoers is a Spot The Difference Game. With this game, racers compete to spot differences between two photos within the time limit.
There are many free Spot The Difference Games options like Smithsonian Magazine Spot the Difference and Google Play’s Find The Difference. Or, you can also create a Spot The Difference Game using documents and photo editing software.
8. Brain Teasers
Brain Teaser activities are not only fun but are fantastic ways to refine teams’ problem-solving skills. For an Amazing Race brain teaser activity, you can pull brain teasers from websites like Brainagle or create your own. To set up, create a document with a list of brain teasers. Next, set up Zoom or Team groups. Designate one person from each team to receive and send back the document. Finally, give each team a time limit to complete the brain teasers.
Here is a list of team building brain teasers.
9. Escape Room Challenge
You do not have to pay money to give your Amazing Racers an escape room challenge. Instead, you can use puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com to create an “escape room” via their maze application. The beauty of this application is that you can customize your escape room down to its width, height, and several potential paths.
The easiest way to set up your escape room is to customize it on the website. Next, right-click on “copy image” and paste it into a slideshow document. You can manipulate the image by adding fun photos, background images, and instructions. You can even add icons inside the puzzle! Then, divide racers into two teams but include everyone on one Zoom or Team call. Finally, send the slideshow to each member with instructions to complete the escape room using one of slideshow writing tools. For example, players can use a pen, marker, or pencil to draw their escape route.
To determine challenge winners, set up a scoring system. For example, the first one to escape the escape room gets five points and the second one gets four points, and so on. The team with the most points overall wins the challenge.
Here is a list of online escape rooms.
10. Origami Paper Crane Challenge
This challenge is straightforward! Racegoers have a set amount of time to make as many paper cranes as possible. Participants can craft the cranes out of paper like sticky notes, legal pad paper, paper towels, or printer paper. The team with the most origami paper cranes wins!
Many outlets show you how to make a paper crane, like YouTube and the spruce crafts.
We recommend sending out the YouTube video or website instructions fifteen minutes before the challenge starts, so racers know how to do the projects.
11. Crypto Go Go Activity
You can channel your racegoers with a Crypto Go Go Activity. Crypto or Cryptogams are text written in code. To set up, you can create crypto puzzles with websites like puzzlemaker.discovery.com‘s cryptogram generator or use ready-made cryptos from websites like api.razzlepuzzles.com.
If you decide to create your crypto, you can incorporate some fun themes like:
- famous movie quotes
- happy hour cocktails
- famous landmarks
The team that breaks the codes first wins the game!
Check out more team problem-solving games.
12.Extreme Geo Amazing Race
Participants in the real Amazing Race show do crazy tasks worldwide. In our Extreme Geo Amazing Race, racers scurry all over the globe, gathering clues from the most obscure places and taking on random challenges. To set up the challenge, create a Google map of extreme geographical locations like the planet’s hottest, windiest, coldest, and snowiest spots. Next, create an activity or challenge on each pin. For example, a crypto activity to determine what is the windiest place on earth and a take a photo of an animal that lives in this place. Then, break your players up into Zoom breakout rooms. Finally, the team that completes all activities wins the race!
13. Count The Random Object Challenge
You can get your race goers up and moving with a Count The Random Object Challenge. This challenge is a scavenger hunt activity where teams race to find all the random objects on the list before time runs out. The team with the most points wins.
To set up the challenge, create a Microsoft Doc list of fifteen to twenty items that racers need to “collect” by capturing photos. Be sure to make a point system as well. For example, each roll of toilet paper is one point. Or, one extra point for a roll of toilet paper past the number ten.
- ten rolls of toilet paper
- thirty spoons
- five toothbrushes
- thirty pairs of pants
- six pairs of white shoes
To play the game, split teams into two Zoom breakout rooms. Next, pick a team captain for each team. Team captains are responsible for keeping track of items collected, checking off each item on the list, and sending back the race list to the organizer. Then, email the item list to all racegoers with directions. You can include instructions that photos of collected items or collected items shown to team captains are acceptable.
Pro Tip: This is a virtual game, so make sure the items you list are easy to find, like common household items, clothing, or office supplies.
For similar ideas, check out this guide to virtual scavenger hunts.
14. Body Part Art Challenge
You will have race goers giggling as they try to draw art with their noses, feet, opposite writing hands, and elbows!
To set up the exercise, create a list of items for the racers to draw. A few fun ideas include:
- draw the Eiffel Tower with your non-writing hand
- draw a smiley face with your feet
- draw an apple with your nose and a sharpie pen
Next, send out an email with a list of items racers should bring to the challenge, like paper, pencils, pens, markers, and sharpies.
To play the game, set up a Zoom or Microsoft Team room for all players. Next, assign three judges for the first round. One judge will be responsible for calling out the drawing challenge and keeping time. Then, each racer has a certain amount of time to complete the challenge. Players that use any body part other than the intended body part must restart the challenge. Finally, after the first round’s time is up, judges choose the best drawing. After that, you can repeat the rounds until everyone has had a chance to be a judge and an artist.
15. Hidden Object Game
One of the most challenging online Amazing Race ideas is a Hidden Object Game where racers have to find hidden objects within an object. A host of free online sites offer hidden object games like arkadium.com and Google Apps Mystery Manner. Or, if you are savvy with photo editing software, then you can create a series of Hidden Object Game photos.
To set up, divide your teams into breakout groups. The team that finds all the items first wins the game.
Virtual Amazing Races are a fun way to help teams refine skills critical to team building like problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. Virtual races are also excellent outlets for team members to communicate and engage, which can be challenging with hybrid or remote teams.
When setting up challenges or activities, it is vital to keep tasks simple. If events are too complicated, your racegoers will spend more time figuring out what to do rather than engaging in the challenge or activity.
For similar activities, check out these lists of virtual Minute to Win It races and online team challenges.